The last few weeks here at ADRA have been busy ones. We have received visits from ADRA France and Rio Lindo Academy and next week we will welcome volunteers from ADRA Finland. With all these visitors coming and going our office has been in constant motion with activates at Ramazan Kabashi School for the blind, the Mother Teresa Hospital, Fushe Kruja, Zall Bastar and beyond.

Over the past few months with our project for blindness awareness, we have begun to foster a relationship with the Ramazan Kabashi School. With this partnership we brought a team of five from ADRA France to work with the school for a week. During the week the team from ADRA France presented some excellent activities with the kids at the school and gave them an opportunity to escape the hash reality of their lives isolated behind the walls of the school. At the end of the week all of the children expressed their gratitude with the weeks activates. They all said that that had been one of the best weeks of their lives. I can also say that for me, and the team from ADRA France, this week was an amazing experience and one that I will never forget. We hope that they will return in the future for a full camp.

After we had to say goodbye to the amazing group from ADRA France it was already time to say hello to the group of high school students from the Rio Lindo Academy. They had come here on a mission trip and stayed for two weeks experience much of what Albania has to offer. One of their main projects was the painting of the oncology wing at the Mother Teresa Hospital. This was part of our project of creating the women’s self-support group for breast cancer. We partnered with the medical faculty at Vitirna University in order to complete this desperately needed project.

The group from Rio Lindo also helped in our other projects. They took trips to both Fushe Kruja and a High School in Lezha. At Fushe Kruja they helped our project that works with the kids of this community. They brought games and activities, which the kids all loved. They also spent some time doing health education, teaching the kids about proper hygiene and proper nutrition. At Lezha they continued the work on the awareness for blindness. The Rio Lindo students mixed with the students from the high school in Lezha to discuss and share their experiences of volunteerism. The students of both schools left having new perspectives and opinions.

Our Last project during this busy time was a trip to the small village of Zall Bastar. We went there with the hopes of starting a new project with their community. Zall Bastar is only 20 kilometers away from Tirana but when you get over the mountain it seems a world away. Beautiful but impoverished our goal is to develop the local economy and empower the women with a modified version of the Reflect method. This trip gave us many ideas to the possibilities of future projects.

We are now preparing for the coming of the Finnish and hope that their experience will be as positive as those of the French and American volunteers. We here at ADRA Albania want to thank everyone that was apart of those two groups as they dedicated their time and effort to help ADRA and Albania.